Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

Early morning get-up, late night at the office. Sometimes we need an energy boost to get us through the day, and for millions of people this means grabbing an energy drink. But is this convenient buzz creating a bigger health problem for you and your body?

Cheap to buy and available everywhere, energy drinks seem like a quick-fix, but it’s important you understand what you’re putting into your body each time you crack open a can. Are they safe to drink regularly, and how many of their ingredients are actually safe and effective? Let’s take a look at the big ups and bigger downs of energy drinks, as well as exploring what natural alternatives are out there.

 What Is An Energy Drink?

Put simply, these are drinks that contain stimulants, such as caffeine, taurine, herbal extracts, amino acids and sweeteners – all widely promoted to increase energy, boost mental alertness, and improve physical performance. These predominately carbonated beverages are second only to multivitamins as being the most popular dietary supplements consumed by teens and young adults.

The reason? They work. Multiple studies confirm that energy drinks boost brain function, concentration and help reduce fatigue, which is why they’ve become so popular over the last decade. Whether it’s construction workers rising in the dark, office workers burning the midnight oil, or anyone in-between, the combination of caffeine, sugar and other ingredients undoubtedly delivers a powerful, easily accessible pick-me-up.

Side Effects Of Energy Drinks

Given the marketed benefits, how are energy drinks bad for you? Two reasons. Many varieties are loaded with huge volumes of sugar, leading to dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels and contributing to weight gain, which in turn can kick-start other related health issues. Also, excessive caffeine intake, especially from a synthetic source, can trigger high blood pressure, which is linked to heart problems if consuming high amounts on a regular basis.

Popular Energy Drinks Compared

With many household names and firm favourites, we’ve pulled together the nutritionals for 4 of the popular energy drinks in the UK to compare their caffeine content, sugar levels, and added benefits to help you make an informed decision when searching for a convenient source of energy.

Red Bull

  • Caffeine – 151mg
  • Caffeine source: synthetic
  • Sugar: 52g
  • Sugar source: table sugar (sucrose)
  • Other ingredients: taurine and B vitamins

There’s no denying the popularity of this drink. Early morning, all day, all night, this drink is everywhere. But, drinking a single can is the equivalent to eating two Snickers bars. Plus, despite claiming their drink is made from real sugars, the caffeine used here is indeed synthetic. Even the inclusion of some energising B vitamins isn’t enough to balance the good with the bad.

Monster

  • Caffeine – 160mg
  • Caffeine source: synthetic
  • Sugar: 55g
  • Sugar source: glucose
  • Other key ingredients: taurine, B vitamins, L-carnitine

 This well-known option takes it up a notch. These huge cans pack in a truckload of sugar – the equivalent of over 5 Krispy Kreme’s. And, like many energy drinks, Monster too sources its caffeine from synthetic sources. It does offer some added benefits for performance through but drinking this regularly will see your sugar intake stack up.

Rockstar

  • Caffeine – 160mg
  • Caffeine source: synthetic
  • Sugar: 61g
  • Sugar source: sucrose and glucose
  • Other key ingredients: taurine, L-carnitine, ginseng root extract

Another recognisable name and yet another case of synthetic caffeine. No doubt you’ll get a huge boost from this, but with even more sugars at a whopping 61g, it’s the equivalent of eating 3 KitKats. Sounds delicious but your body won’t thank you for it. On the upside, ginseng is a great health inclusion for improving brain function and is a good combination with the caffeine.

Cognifuel®

  • Caffeine – 130mg
  • Caffeine source: natural (green coffee been)
  • Sugar source: organic cane sugar (glucose)
  • Other key ingredients: 22 vitamins and minerals, tyrosine, L-theanine, gingko biloba

This new supplement from brain-health brand Neubria is an excellent energy drink alternative. Labelled as a think drink, it combines natural botanicals and an activating 22 vitamin and mineral blend, proven to enhance cognition and combat fatigue. Plus, all of the caffeine is from a natural source, making sure you get a boost without worrying about unwanted side effects.

The Benefits of Natural Energy Drinks

Is there such thing as a healthy energy drink? We think so. Many leading energy drinks are packed with ‘added sugar’, contain artificial sweeteners, and include large amounts of synthetic caffeine. However, there are a number of natural options out there that are created from all-natural sources – delivering huge energy boosts without the dreaded crash.

These can include mixtures of naturally caffeinated teas, matcha, yerba mate, coffee beans and think drinks. And they offer the best of both worlds, containing energy-boosting properties but also delivering safe and effective support for your body and brain thanks to essential vitamins and proven plant extracts. Due to the health benefits they deliver, these natural alternatives to energy drinks offer so much more, and are the perfect option for the daily pick-me-up you need – with complete peace of mine.

Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

Put simply, it’s all about choosing the right one. The European Food Safety Authority concludes that a caffeine intake of up to 400mg per day is safe for adults – the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee (90mg each) or 2 1/2 standard cans (250 ml) of energy drink (160 mg each/80 mg per serving) – so as long as you don’t exceed this, the benefits are there for the taking.

But, it’s the type of caffeine and the huge sugar intake you need to watch out for. Choose a brand such as Neubria’s Cognifuel to guarantee you’re getting your power-up from clean ingredients. Plus, this natural alternative lets you reap the rewards of scientifically proven botanicals and plant-based vitamins for a guaranteed brain and body boost.

Sources:

https://www.britishsoftdrinks.com/Energy-Drinks

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11665810/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19299320/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5445139/

 

 

 

 


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